Far from the Front

West Calder: A Scottish Village and the Great War

Email: jamesfanning@icloud.com



R Sweeney Roden

"Writing from France to his mother, Pte Roden or Sweeney, of the Royal Scots, whose home is at 14 Forth Street, West Calder, says he took part in the severe fighting on the 25th September and he has been recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal for bravery in the field …… Pte Sweeney has been recommended for the DCM  for attending to a wounded comrade under heavy shell and rifle fire."



Midlothian Advertiser, October 8, 1915


The DCM Controversey


For some time past a feeling of uncertainty has prevailed as to whether another local soldier, Pte R Roden of the Royal Scots , had also won the DCM. Several months ago a letter came home that the DCM had been won, and the matter has been a subject for discussion in the district ever since. At the request of several who are interested in the matter we wrote to the War Office, and have received the following reply -


War Office

London S.W.

10th June, 1916



Sir, - I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th inst., and in reply to inform you that no notification has yet been received in this department of the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to No. 13440, Private E Roden, 3rd Battalion, Royal Scots.


I am to state, however, that a further communication will be immediately addressed to you on receipt of information of the award of the decoration in question to this man - I am sir, your obedient servant, H H Hannington, Capt., for Director of Organisation.


Midlothian Advertiser, 23 June, 1916



Lance-Corporal R Roden of the Royal Scots, whose home is at 25 Clyde Street, West Calder, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in the field. Lance-Corporal Roden, writing home to his mother, informed her of the distinction he had won and his name appeared on the official list last Friday. When war broke out he at once offered his services and enlisted on the 2nd September, 1914, so that he has taken part in most of the heavy fighting. In civil life Lance-Corporal Roden worked as a shale miner with Young's Oil Company; and his fellow workmen are highly pleased at the distinction he has won.


Midlothian Advertiser, September 29, 1916